There is plenty of evidence that high energy prices were the real cause of our ongoing economic crisis. While subprime mortgages and other financial questionable shenanigans have become the primary scapegoat, it's easy to forget that the recession was preceded by a spike in oil prices that left many people unable to pay their bills.
Chris Martenson, author of the Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy and Environment, argues that this is the new reality we have to come to terms with. And as long as we try to maintain the status quo, it isn't going to go away.
Our economy may well recover somewhat, but that recovery will lead to increased oil use, which leads to increased prices, which will lead to yet another economic contraction. And this cycle will most likely repeat —with each subsequent recovery being weaker than the last.
Interestingly, Martenson isn't quite ready to offer up solutions in the monetary realm. He argues that we don't yet understand the full extent of the flaws in our current monetary system, so offering up concrete solutions would be premature. (Like fixing your car without knowing what is wrong with it.) But he does suggest that we need to develop a diversity of financial and economic tools to develop an alternative path.
But for them to thrive, we have to let go of the notion that business-as-usual can continue.